Mr. Gresham to Mr. Terrell.

No. 119.]

Sir: Your No. 1291 of 11th ultimo, and the copy therewith, have been received. It appears that Adam Aivazian, a naturalized American, is now in prison at Yozgad, on suspicion of conspiracy against the Turkish Government. He states that he resided ten years in this country, and about 1891–’92 went to Turkey on business, intending to return to America.

The case seems an especially hard one, as this man appears to intend honestly to conserve his American status by closing up his interests in Turkey and settling in California for life.

If there are charges against him, it would seem that he should be confronted with them and given a chance to make his defense. Prolonged imprisonment seems an unnecessary hardship, against which you can rightly protest.

I am, etc.,

W. Q. Gresham.

Mr. Terrell to Mr. Gresham.

No. 169.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 119 of the 6th instant, regarding the case of Adam Aivazian, confined at Yozgad in prison. Considerations of policy have restrained me from prompt action in this case, as in that of the parties at Alexandretta,2 who, though naturalized and charged with no crime, are refused permission to return to their homes in the United States. * * *

I have been awaiting the slow action of the Porte, which would act favorably, but can not. The report to the grand vizier from Yozgad is that the man there is confined for assisting the escape of revolutionists, and has never claimed protection as an American citizen. That, I think, I understand; he is prevented by fear. If I can be furnished with a letter to the governor permitting my secretary to see the man I will send him to know the facts.

[Page 766]

Unless my interview at the Porte is more satisfactory than I expect I will telegraph you to-morrow. A careful study of the situation convinces me that concessions, even when required by justice (as in the exclusion of returning Armenians), are only followed by fresh exactions.

* * * * * * *

I have, etc.,

A. W. Terrell.
  1. Not printed.
  2. The Toprahanians.